Sunday Scriptures – Hope

Allegory of hope; Oil on canvas, Francesco Gua...

Allegory of Hope: Oil on Canvas, Francesco Guardi, 1747

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

. . .

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:1-7,13

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Image via Wikipedia

Sunday Scriptures – Hope

Therefore,
since we have been justified through faith,
we have peace with God
through our Lord Jesus Christ,
through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.
And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings,
because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
perseverance, character;
and character, hope.
And hope does not disappoint us,
because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit,
whom he has given us.

You see, at just the right time,
when we were still powerless,
Christ died for the ungodly.
Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man,
though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.
But God demonstrates His own love for us
in this:
While we were still sinners,
Christ died for us.

–Romans 5:1-8

English: Cross in the village of Úsilné, České...

Czech Republic. Inscription: Blessed be the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Hope

hope like a candle

Hope, Like a Candle

Hope, like the gleaming taper’s light,
Adorns and cheers our way;
And still, as darker grows the night,
Emits a brighter ray.

                                Oliver Goldsmith, The Captivity, Act II

This candlestick was in my mother’s bedroom when she was a young girl. She told of forgetting to blow it out at bedtime, once, and nearly burning the house down. Scorch is still visible on it, in places.

We must always be cautious about hope, not to let it burn too long without checking on it. Let’s always remember the purpose of hope is to lead us to something better. Let’s never merely hope for hope’s sake.

It’s all about follow-through. Yes, hope lights the darkness, but those who sleep don’t need it.

There’s Hope For Me!

Today let me tell you about one of the loveliest writers I know.

I don’t really know her, I guess, as we have never met in person, and she probably seldom reads my writings, although I read hers. She inspires me through her simple, sweet tales of taming chickens and frosting cupcakes, weeding and traveling, speaking events, and her little deaf and blind pooch, Dixie.

The dog is a profound parable to me. She loves and provides for it although it could hardly fetch slippers or newspaper, or ever protect her from much, and probably is more needy than anything else. Being deaf and blind, it revels in her touch, probably the main way it can feel “all is well”. I can think of only one reason she bothers with this pet: She just wants to, perhaps out of mercy. It reminds me of me and the Lord.

To top it off, her name is Hope. How prophetic for everyone she reaches!

Hope recently wrote a great introduction to her weekly writers’ post. Although it makes a point about writing, at the same time it is an appealing description of everything we should be. My blog is not about writing but I am a writer and I recognize great communication when I see it. I absolutely love this rendering of my exact thoughts and I have received Hope’s permission to copy it here, with her contact information.

Visit her soon!

DO YOU WRITE FROM SCRATCH?

There’s something about a box cake mix that shouts short-cut to me. I was raised by Martha Stewart, Jr. Actually Mom is a few years older than Martha, but she had all the moves before Martha became a household word.

No box cakes in the house. Uh-uh. All from scratch. And if you didn’t have a family recipe, you relied upon a Southern Living Cookbook for no-fail recipes. But you did NOT open a box. And heaven forbid you tried canned frosting.

That kitchen work ethic has stuck in my head. Having grown up on homemade fixins, I can taste the difference. Guess that’s why I garden. If I can cook with the real ingredients instead of freeze-dried, frozen or canned, I just feel more accomplished…healthier…proper.

Writing is a scratch recipe. No excuses and no substitutions for the long haul in developing a good story. If you want it quick and easy, it doesn’t taste nearly as good – to you or to those you serve it to.

There’s something about carefully measuring ingredients to get it right, even if you have to repeat the recipe to make it rise, brown, or bake properly. Nothing beats the look on someone’s face when he tastes an original combination of items married into a perfect recipe. You have to admit, when you savor homemade then taste a box mix, the difference is striking. Simply, one is memorable; the other is not.

It’s like comparing Gordon Ramsey’s gourmet risotto to powdered macaroni-and-cheese.  

There may be times where five-minute mac-n-cheese fills the bill. Maybe you throw a cake mix into cupcake molds for a second-grader’s birthday party where all they want is the icing and sprinkles anyway. But memorable? Don’t think so.

It takes time to create anything from scratch. The trial and error aspect of it is what makes the end result so superbly satisfying. The balance is better, the flavor sublime, and the experience is one remembered for a whole lot longer.

After all, who marvels over a mix? Every church bazaar baker understands that made-from-scratch miracles make other cooks jealous . . . leaving them with a craving to duplicate the success.

Thanks, Hope! I’m going to work on my kitchen work ethic . . .

And now, Friends, here is where you can read more of Hope’s writings. What a treasure house she is building!

C. Hope Clark
Editor, FundsforWriters, www.fundsforwriters.com
Writer’s Digest 101 Best Web Sites for Writers – 2001-2010
A decade of recognized excellence
Blog – www.hopeclark.blogspot.com
Twitter – www.twitter.com/hopeclark
Facebook – www.facebook.com/chopeclark